Welcome to the In Our Day Project
Hello! This is the first blog post for the In Our Day project. At the moment, we are just starting to recruit volunteers and find organisations and individuals to take part in it. So far, I’ve talked to the Alzheimer’s Society in Sheffield, and they have really helped us to get on our way!
Many thanks to Sheffield City Council for the Dementia Innovation Fund grant. There are projects taking place across the city in 2019, and they all aim to improve the lives of people with dementia through multi-generational activities, bringing together people of different ages to enjoy different activities such as arts, crafts, music or reminiscing and remembering together.
With Walkley Library as our base, the In Our Day project will work with local young people, who may be college or university students, or who may have an interest in all things vintage and retro. The volunteers will be trained as as dementia-friendly oral history volunteers.
Working with care homes, local doctors’ surgeries and charities, these volunteers will interview older people with dementia and their carers about their experiences of being young, in a series of workshops and one-to-one sessions. This will result in a book, social media presence and website, as well as intergenerational social events, which will become the basis of an ongoing, community-based resource for reminiscence and oral history in Sheffield, based at Walkley Carnegie Library.
As the project grows, this website and the social media for the project will grow, with pictures, media and pieces of writing. This is just the very start of it!
I’m Anne Grange, and I’m the project co-ordinator. I live in Walkley and have been a volunteer at Walkley Library for over four years, organising author events and spoken word sessions, among many other things. I’m a writer, with published two novels that you can find more about here.
From 2013-2017, I worked in older people’s mental health wards in Derbyshire, running weekly reminiscence and poetry sessions. These sessions also involved crafts, baking, music, and lots of joy and laughter.
Many of the poems and pieces of writing by the patients across Derbyshire were captured in a poetry book project called Dales Tales.
I’ll leave you with a taster of one of the poems that was written during the project, inspired by the patients’s reminiscences of night’s out in Ilkeston! Hopefully, the In Our Day project will inspire many more evocative pieces of writing.
The Saturday Night Hop
Every Saturday night
At t’top of the Co-op in Ilkeston
Or the Astoria in Nottingham
The boys met the girls in there,
So they didn’t have to pay for them.
Got drunk first on pints of bitter
In the Warren. Lots of pubs,
But they all shut at ten.
They’d swagger into the dancehall
Full of Dutch courage.
Hair slicked back.
Blue eyes, black hair:
Gift of the gab.
String ties, drainpipe trousers
Purple drape jackets.
The girls loved it.
They were in skirts with petticoats
Lipstick applied carefully at a friend’s house.
Ready to jive and rock ‘n’ roll.
Lined up to see who’d get picked first.
Twirling around the dancefloor,
Sweet-talk and cheap scent.
All over by eleven –
Running for the last bus home,
Fish and chips,
Walking the best girl home.
She’d have to wipe that make-up off
Before her dad saw her.